The final votes are in, and 17 Chabad-Lubavitch programs across the United States will each receive $20,000 – for a combined total of $340,000 – after finishing among the top 200 charities in the Chase Community Giving competition on Facebook. Among the group are 14 branches of the Friendship Circle, an award-winning program that pairs teenage volunteers with children with special needs.

Jill Jenson, assistant program director and event coordinator for the Friendship Circle of South Bay in Redondo Beach, Calif. – which finished in 10th place overall – said that she was proud of the results, especially since her organization entered the contest with only 15 days remaining.

“It was pretty stressful; I was on the computer all the time,” said Jensen. “Our strategy was to contact as many people as possible, and we had wonderful support from our community.”

The competition ended July 13 at midnight. According to the rules, Facebook users could vote for up to 20 of their favorite community-based charities. The top prize of $250,000 was claimed by the Harry Potter Alliance, a Somerville, Mass.-based human rights organization that received 38,689 votes. The next four runners-up will each receive $100,000, while others in the top-200 will get $20,000.

After making the decision to enter, Jensen enlisted the help of the Skechers shoe manufacturer, which is sponsoring the upcoming Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, a fundraiser scheduled for October 24. Jensen said her organization plans to donate the $20,000 prize to that event, whose proceeds will be divided between Friendship Circle and six public school districts who participate in the organization’s programs.

“We wanted to take the theme of the Friendship Walk and give it a more community-based approach,” said Jensen.

Four other Friendship Circles ranked in among the competition’s top-50 charities: Conejo Valley Friendship Circle in Agoura Hills, Calif.; Friendship Circle of S. Francisco; Friendship Circle of Kendall/Pinecrest in Miami, Fla.; and Friendship Circle of Potomac, Maryland. A cooperative effort among all of the Friendship Circles resulted in a webpage that helped Facebook users vote for the entire group.

The other Chabad-Lubavitch programs earning money from the contest are the Friendship Circle of Los Angeles; Capital Region Friendship Circle of Albany, N.Y.; the Stuart I. Raskas Friendship Circle of Illinois; Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Friendship Circle of S. Diego, Calif.; Friendship Circle of North Broward in Parkland, Fla.; Friendship Circle of Seattle, Wash.; Maimonides Hebrew Day School in Albany; iVolunteer, a New York City project that provides companionship and assistance to Holocaust survivors; the Friendship Circle in Coconut Grove, Fla; the Chai Preschool in Foster City, Calif; the Bay Area Friendship Circle in Palo Alto, Calif.; and Friendship Circle of Delaware Valley North in Newtown, Pa.

Jensen said she first learned about the Chase program from the Friendship Circle of Michigan, the network’s flagship institution that won $100,000 in an earlier Chase Community Giving contest.

“At that time, we were the only Friendship Circle competing,” said Rabbi Levi Shemtov, executive director of the Michigan organization. “This time we were very happy to help all the groups who helped us win. The biggest benefit to this competition is not the money, but the awareness that it brings about Friendship Circle and children with special needs.”